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China’s economic growth over the past four decades has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty and established it as an economic powerhouse. Today, China’s economy continues to grow at rates unseen in other countries hit hard by the COVID pandemic. What is the key to China’s economic success, and what challenges does the Chinese economy face in the years ahead?

The Becker Friedman Institute in China (BFI-China) was launched in 2018 to deepen economists’ understanding of these and other questions by working in partnership with leading Chinese institutions and scholars. The Tsinghua University – University of Chicago Joint Research Center for Economics and Finance, led by BFI-China and the Tsinghua School of Economics and Management, is a first-of-its-kind partnership that brings together economists from both universities to produce frontier insights on major issues in Chinese economic policy.

Leaders of this historic initiative to discussed the factors driving China’s economic expansion, how government and financial institutions evolve to become more efficient, and how their research can inform China’s policymakers to catalyze ongoing economic transformation in China.

All times are listed in Central Standard Time.

10th Anniversary of the University of Chicago Center in Beijing

The University of Chicago Center in Beijing celebrates its tenth anniversary with programming that demonstrates the University’s broad and deep history of engagement with China. The University’s relationship with China dates back to 1914, when our second president, Harry Pratt Judson, led a Rockefeller Foundation commission that helped to establish the China Medical Board and continued when UChicago alumni in Physics, Yang Chen Ning and Lee Tsung-Dao, became the first Chinese nationals to be awarded the Nobel Prize. This month-long celebration of the Center honors our history while showcasing faculty research and key partnerships in China.

The establishment of the Center in Beijing has cultivated new opportunities for collaboration across disciplines and throughout the region. Since its inception in 2010, the Center has hosted over 500 events, welcomed over 45,000 visitors, and been a home away from home for over 2,500 University of Chicago faculty, staff, and students. This celebration serves as an opportunity to thank our alumni, local leaders, and the faculty and staff whose support has enabled the Center in Beijing to become a hub for engagement in China.


Tuesday, January 5, 2021
Welcoming Remarks
Robert J. Zimmer, University Chancellor, Office of the President
Opening Remarks
Balaji Srinivasan, Senior Advisor to the President, The University of Chicago
Chong-En Bai, Mansfield Freeman Chair Professor and Dean of the School of Economics and Management, Tsinghua University
Zhiguo He, Fuji Bank and Heller Professor of Finance, Booth School of Business
Chang-Tai Hsieh, Phyllis and Irwin Winkelried Distinguished Service Professor, University of Chicago Booth School of Business; Deputy Director of BFI Development Economics Center
Michael Greenstone, The Milton Friedman Distinguished Service Professor in Economics and the College, the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics and Harris Public Policy; Director of the UChicago Climate and Energy Institute